An Ad hoc Panel of experts on fine or flavour cocoa met on 18 January 2008 in London to review Annex "C" of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001. This Annex provides an overview of the producing countries that are recognized as exporting either exclusively or partially fine or flavour cocoa. The list of countries exporting fine or flavour cocoa was last reviewed by the International Cocoa Council at its 71st regular session in March 2005.

 The meeting of the Panel, chaired by Mr. Edward Seguine of Guittard Chocolate Company, consisted of two parts. In the first part, the main countries concerned  - Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad & Tobago - presented their cases to the Panel. The second part of the meeting was devoted to an intensive discussion by the Panel on the situation in each of the countries under consideration.

The most important recommendations made by the Panel were:

1 - For the first time, the Dominican Republic was recognized as a fine or flavour cocoa producing country, with a recommended share of 40% of fine or flavour cocoa exports.

2 - Following a decrease to 25% in 2005, Papua New Guinea's share was reinstated to 75% of fine or flavour cocoa exports, the same level as in 1993.

3 - Ecuador maintained its 75% share of fine or flavour cocoa exports.

4 - Trinidad & Tobago also maintained its 100% share of fine or flavour cocoa exports.

The Panel recommended that a further review of Annex "C" of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001 should take place in January 2009.

The International Cocoa council will decide on the recommendations made by the Panel at its 77th regular session in may 2008 (see related document).

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